**IV. The triggering mechanism for El Ninos: The alignment**

of the lunar line-of-apse with the Equinoxes and Solstices

of the Earth's orbit.

of the lunar line-of-apse with the Equinoxes and Solstices

of the Earth's orbit.

**THIS IS THE COVER POST FOR THIS STUDY**

**1. A SUMMARY OF THE THREE PREVIOUS POSTS**

If you are unfamiliar with this topic you may wish to

read the following three post in order to understand

this current covering post.

Evidence that El Nino Events are triggered by the Moon - I

I . The Changing Aspect of the Lunar Orbit and its

Impact Upon the Earth's Length of Day (LOD).

**Evidence that El Nino Events are triggered by the Moon - II**

II. Seasonal Peak Tides - The 31/62 year Perigee-Syzygy

Tidal Cycle.

**Evidence that El Nino Events are triggered by the Moon - III**

III. Strong El Nino Events Between 1865 and 2014.

**Observations of the Earth rate of spin (i.e. LOD) show**

that there are abrupt decreases in the Earth's rotation rate

of the order of a millisecond that take place roughly once

every 13.7 days. These slow downs in spin occur whenever

the oceanic (and atmospheric) tidal bulge is dragged

across the Earth's equator by the Moon. They are produced

by the conservation of total angular momentum of the Earth,

its oceans and its atmosphere.

An investigation in the earlier posts revealed that:

a) The lunar distance during its passage across the Earth's

Equator determined the size of the (13.7 day) peaks in

LOD (i.e. the magnitude of the periodic slow-downs in

the rate of the Earth's rotation).

b) The relative sizes of consecutive peaks in LOD were

determined by the slow precession of the lunar

line-of-apse with respect to the stars, once every 8.85

years.

c) In the years where the lunar line-of-apse were closely

aligned with the Solstices, the ratio of the peaks in LOD

were close to 1.0 and in the years where the lunar

line-of-apse were closely aligned with the Equinoxes, the

ratio of the peaks in LOD were far from 1.0 (i.e. near

either 0.5 or 2.0).

These series of posts are based upon the premise that

El Nino events are triggered by a mechanism that is

related to the relative strength of consecutive peaks in the

Earth's LOD (corresponding to decreases in the Earth's

rotation rate) at the same point in the seasonal calendar.

[N.B. A description of how El Nino events are actually

triggered by this mechanism is left to a future paper that

will be submitted to a journal for peer-review.]

If this premise is valid, then we should expect to

see a pattern in the sequencing of El Nino events that

matches that of the 31/62 year Perigee-Syzygy lunar

tidal cycle. This particular long-term tidal cycle

synchronizes the slow precession of the lunar line-of-apse

[which governs the slow change in the Moon's distance

as it crosses the Equator] with the Synodic cycle

(i.e the Moon's phases) and the seasons.

This study covers all the strong El Nino events between

1865 and 2014. A detailed investigation of the precise

alignments between the lunar synodic [lunar phase] cycle

and the 31/62 year Perigee-Syzygy cycle, over the time

period considered, shows that it naturally breaks up six

31 year epochs each of which has a distinctly different

tidal property. The second 31 year interval starts with the

precise alignment on the 15th of April 1870 with the

subsequent epoch boundaries occurring every 31 years

after that:

Epoch 1 - Prior to 15th April 1870

Epoch 2 - 15th April 1870 to 18th April 1901

Epoch 3 - 8th April 1901 to 20th April 1932

Epoch 4 - 20th April 1932 to 23rd April 1963

Epoch 5 - 23rd April 1963 to 25th April 1994

Epoch 6 - 25th April 1994 to 27th April 2025

Hence, if the 31/62 year seasonal tidal cycle plays a

significant role in sequencing the triggering of El Nino

significant role in sequencing the triggering of El Nino

events it would be reasonable to expect that its effects

for the following three epochs:

New Moon Epoch:

Epoch 1 - Prior to 15th April 1870

Epoch 3 - 8th April 1901 to 20th April 1932

Epoch 5 - 23rd April 1963 to 25th April 1994

by new moons that are predominately in the

northern hemisphere]

should be noticeably different to its effects for these

three epochs:

Epoch 2 - 15th April 1870 to 18th April 1901

Epoch 4 - 20th April 1932 to 23rd April 1963

Epoch 6 - 25th April 1994 to 27th April 2025

full moons that are predominately in the southern

hemisphere]

New Moon Epoch:

Epoch 1 - Prior to 15th April 1870

Epoch 3 - 8th April 1901 to 20th April 1932

Epoch 5 - 23rd April 1963 to 25th April 1994

**[That have peak seasonal tides that are dominated**

by new moons that are predominately in the

northern hemisphere]

three epochs:

**Full Moon Epochs:**

Epoch 2 - 15th April 1870 to 18th April 1901

Epoch 4 - 20th April 1932 to 23rd April 1963

Epoch 6 - 25th April 1994 to 27th April 2025

**[That have peak seasonal tides that are dominated by**

full moons that are predominately in the southern

hemisphere]

**2. Evidence that the Moon Triggers El Nino Events**

Figure 1 shows the (mean) absolute difference in lunar

distance between consecutive transits of the Earth's equator,

versus the (mean) longitude of the lunar line-of-apse.

Each of the 65 data point in figure 1 represents a six

month time interval, with the intervals arranged sequentially

across a period that extends from June 1870 to Nov 1902.

The 32 year time period chosen is assumed to be reasonably

representative of the 149 year period of this study, which

extends from 1865 to 2014.

[N.B. All of the data points shown in figure 1 are obtained by

averaging the plotted values over a six month time interval.]

Shown along the bottom of figure 1 are the months in

which the longitude of the lunar line-of-apse aligns with

the Sun. This tells us that the line-of-apse aligns with the

Sun at the Equinoxes when its longitudes are 0 [March]

and 180 [September] degrees, and it aligns with the Sun

at the Solstices when its longitudes are 90 [June] and

270 [December] degrees.

**Figure 1**

[

**N.B.**The mean longitude of the lunar line-of-apse (averaged

over a six month period) moves from left to right across the

diagram at roughly 20.34 degrees every six months. This

means that it takes 8.85 years (the Cycle of Lunar Perigee)

in order to cross the diagram from far left to far right.]

Figure 1 shows that if you were to randomly select a sample

of six month time intervals during the years from 1865 to 2014,

you would expect that they should (by and large) be evenly

distributed along the sinusoidal shown in this plot.

Indeed, if you apply a chi squared test to the data in

figure 1, based upon the null hypothesis that there is no

difference between number of points within +/- 45 degrees

of the time where the lunar line-of-apse aligns with the

Sun at the Equinoxes, compared to the number of points

within +/- 45 degrees of the time where the lunar

line-of-apse aligns with the Sun at the Solstices,

then you find that:

+/- 45 deg. Solstices________33 points

+/- 45 deg Equinoxes_______32 points

expected value = 32.5

total number of points n = 65

degrees of freedom = 1

chi squared = 0.015

and p = 0.902

This means that we are (most emphatically) unable

to reject this null hypothesis.

**El Nino Events During the Full Moon Epochs**

Figure 2 shows the corresponding plot for all

the El Nino events that are in the Full Moon epochs

of the 31/62 year Perigee/Syzygy tidal cycle i.e.

Full Moon Epochs:

Epoch 2 - 15th April 1870 to 18th April 1901

Epoch 4 - 20th April 1932 to 23rd April 1963

Epoch 6 - 25th April 1994 to 27th April 2025

Figure 2

As with figure 1, if you apply a chi squared test to the

data in figure 2, based upon the null hypothesis that there is no

difference between number of points within +/- 45 degrees

of the time where the lunar line-of-apse aligns with the

Sun at the Equinoxes, compared to the number of points

within +/- 45 degrees of the time where the lunar

line-of-apse aligns with the Sun at the Solstices,

then you find that:

**+/- 45 deg. Solstices________2 points**

+/- 45 deg Equinoxes_______11 points

expected value = 6.5

total number of points n = 13

degrees of freedom = 1

chi squared = 6.231

and p = 0.013

This tells us that we can reject the null hypothesis.

Hence,we can conclude that there is a highly

significant difference between number of points

within +/- 45 degrees of the time where the lunar

line-of-apse aligns with the Sun at the Equinoxes,

compared to the number of points within +/- 45 degrees

of the time where the lunar line-of-apse aligns with

the Sun at the Solstices.

**The difference is such that**

**the El Nino events in the Full Moon epochs**

**preferentially occur near times**

**when the lunar**

**line-of-apse aligns with the Sun**

**at the times**

**of the Equinoxes**.

It is obvious, however, that the robustness of this

claim of significance is not very strong, simply because

of the small sample size. Indeed, it would only

take two extra data points in the +/- 45 deg. Solstices bin to

render the result scientifically insignificant [i.e. a chi

squared of 3.267 and a probability of rejecting the null

hypothesis of 0.071]. Ideally, you would like to have

at least double the sample size before you would be

a little more confident about the final result.

**El Nino Events During the New Moon Epochs**

**Figure 3 shows the corresponding plot for all**

the El Nino events that are in the New Moon epochs

of the 31/62 year Perigee/Syzygy tidal cycle i.e.

Epoch 1 - Prior to 15th April 1870

Epoch 3 - 8th April 1901 to 20th April 1932

Epoch 5 - 23rd April 1963 to 25th April 1994

**Figure 3**

As with figure 1, if you apply a chi squared

test to the data in figure 3, based upon the null

hypothesis that there is no difference between

number of points within +/- 45 degrees of the time

where the lunar line-of-apse aligns with the

Sun at the Equinoxes, compared to the number of

points within +/- 45 degrees of the time where the

lunar line-of-apse aligns with the Sun at the

Solstices, then you find that:

+/- 45 deg. Solstices________9 points

+/- 45 deg Equinoxes_______4 points

expected value = 6.5

total number of points n = 13

degrees of freedom = 1

chi squared = 1.923

and p = 0.166

This tells us that we are unable to reject the

null hypothesis. However, the El Nino event

that has a mean longitude for the lunar line-of-apse

of 135.45 degrees in figure 3 could technically be

placed in +/- 45 deg. Solstices bin changing the

chi squared to 3.769 and the probability of

rejecting the null hypothesis to the scientifically

significant value of p = 0.052.

Hence,we can conclude that there is a marginally

significant difference between number of points

within +/- 45 degrees of the time where the lunar

line-of-apse aligns with the Sun at the Equinoxes,

compared to the number of points within +/- 45 degrees

of the time where the lunar line-of-apse aligns with

the Sun at the Solstices.

**The difference is such that**

**the El Nino events in the New Moon epochs**

**preferentially occur near times**

**when the lunar**

**line-of-apse aligns with the Sun**

**at the times**

**of the Solstices**.

However, just like the El Nino events in the Full

Moon epochs, it is obvious that the robustness of this

claim of significance is not very strong, simply because

of the small sample size.

**Comparing El Nino Events in the Full Moon Epochs**

**with those in the New Moon Epochs.**

**Figure 4 shows a histogram of the angle between the lunar**

line-of-nodes and the position of the nearest solstice for

all of the 26 El Nino events in the study sample. This angle,

by definition, lies between 0 and 90 degrees.

The El Nino evenst have been divided into two

sub-samples, consisting of those that are in the New

Moon Epochs and those that are in the Full Moon

epochs.

**Figure 4**

**The question is, are the angles between the lunar**

line-of-nodes and the position of the nearest

Solstice for the two sub-samples drawn from the

same parent population (= null hypothesis).

This can be tested by doing a two-tailed

Wilcoxon Rank-Sum Test that compares

the two sub samples.

If we define the New Moon epoch El Ninos

as sample A and the Full Moon epoch El Ninos

as sample B, we get:

n(A) =13

n(b) = 13

w(A) = 236

Mu(A) = 175.5

sigma(A) = 19.5

and z = (W(A) - Mu(A))/Sigma(A)

= 3.103

For a two-tailed solution this means that we reject

the null hypothesis at the level of p = 0.002 -

which is highly significant.

the null hypothesis at the level of p = 0.002 -

which is highly significant.

Hence, since we can say from our earlier results

that:

**El Nino events in the****Full Moon epochs****preferentially occur near**

**times**

**when the**

**lunar**

**line-of-apse aligns with**

**the Sun**

**at the times**

**of the Equinoxes**.

We can now also say that:

**El Nino events in****the New Moon epochs must**

**preferentially**

**avoid times**

**when the lunar**

**line-of-apse**

**aligns with the Sun**

**at**

**the Equinoxes**.

FINAL COMMENTS:

This study is still a work in progress but already

we can make some interesting predictions, which

if fulfilled would reinforce the claim that El Nino

events are triggered by the Moon.

The first prediction is that because we are currently

in a 31 year Full Moon Epoch for El Nino events,

there should be heightened probability of experiencing

a strong El Nino in the following years:

a strong El Nino in the following years:

2015-2016 (see figure 1)

2019-2020 and

2024

as these are the years where the lunar line-of-apse

aligns with the Sun at the times of the Equinoxes.

The second prediction is that, starting sometime

around the year 2021, we should begin to see El

Ninos events that are more typical of the sequencing seen

for the New Moon Epochs (i.e. they will be triggered

when the line-of-apse aligns with the Sun at the

times of the Solstices). These times could include:

2022-23 (?) and

2027

Of there is always the caveat that we currently moving

into an extended period of low solar activity which

could increase the overall intensity of El Nino events

out to at least the mid 2030's.